Check this page often for updated information on exhibitions, events, and lectures in and around the Los Angeles area.
Robert Mapplethorpe: XYZ @ LACMA
October 21, 2012–February 3, 2013
This exhibition presents the X, Y, and Z Portfolios (published in 1978, 1978, and 1981, respectively) by American photographer Robert Mapplethorpe (1946–1989). Together, the 39 black-and-white photographs summarize Mapplethorpe’s ambitions as a fine-art photographer and contemporary artist, reflecting the tripartite division of his mature work: homosexual sadomasochistic imagery (in X); flower still lifes (Y); and nude portraits of African-American men (Z).
Mapplethorpe’s work has consistently provoked strong reactions. Some have condemned its explicit content, notably during the so-called Culture Wars of the 1980s. Others defend the artist’s right to freedom of expression and admire his mastery of the photographic medium. LACMA’s exhibition offers audiences the opportunity to assess Mapplethorpe’s confrontational photographs—with their paradoxical mix of classicizing, austere form and raw, uninhibited content—through three series that defined not only his artistic career, but also a moment in American cultural politics. The exhibition, together with the Getty Museum’s concurrent In Focus: Robert Mapplethorpe, celebrates the landmark joint acquisition, in 2011, of the Robert Mapplethorpe Archive by LACMA, the Getty Museum, and the Getty Research Institute.
Bodies and Shadows: Caravaggio and His Legacy @ LACMA
November 11, 2012–February 10, 2013
Bodies and Shadows: Caravaggio and His Legacy introduces the work of Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio (1571–1610), one of the most popular artists of the past, rivaling in fame both Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci. The stories of Caravaggio's life are legend, more myth than history, describing traits of personality, including passion and brutality, that came to describe the unique qualities of his work. He revolutionized painting in Rome at the end of the 16th and beginning of the 17th century. The exhibition, made up of 56 works in all, including a record eight works by Caravaggio himself, covers the evolution of his style. Caravaggio's legacy is expressed in work by about twenty artists from Italy, Spain, France and the Netherlands who carried into the late 17th century the strangeness, beauty and raw emotion of his work.
Florence at the Dawn of the Renaissance: Painting and Illumination, 1300-1350 @ the Getty Center
November 13, 2012–February 10, 2013
In the early 1300s, creativity was flourishing in Florence at a time of unprecedented prosperity, urban expansion, and intellectual innovation. The Renaissance was awakening. In this dynamic climate, master painter Giotto di Bondone revolutionized painting with a new, more naturalistic approach to the human form. He—along with the iconic literary figure Dante Alighieri and accomplished panel painters and illuminators—formed a thriving artistic community that responded to the great demand for art and literature in the growing city, both for the decoration of sacred and secular buildings and for the illumination of luxurious manuscripts.
This major international loan exhibition presents seven breathtaking paintings by Giotto, the largest number ever assembled in North America, as well as extraordinary works by his Florentine contemporaries, including painters Bernardo Daddi and Taddeo Gaddi and painter-illuminators Pacino di Bonaguida, the Master of the Dominican Effigies, and the Master of the Codex of Saint George. Among the highlights are the earliest illuminated copies of Dante's masterpiece the Divine Comedy, and nearly all the surviving leaves from the most important illuminated manuscript commission of the early 1300s, the Laudario of Sant'Agnese.
In a fresh approach to this material, paintings, manuscript illumination, and stained glass are examined side by side, in concert with new scientific analysis and findings about artists' techniques and workshops, to reveal a complex and nuanced picture of the beauty of Florentine art during this pivotal moment in history.